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Learn to Protect Bees on Molokai

UH CTAHR News Release

Calling all Molokai beekeepers – it’s time to bee proactive! Bee responsible! Bee informed! And bee a part of the plan to control small hive beetles on Molokai.

Ethel Villalobos and Scott Nikaido of the University of Hawaii (UH) Honeybee Project Lab will join Jennifer Hawkins, Molokai Jr. Extension Agent, Department of Hawaiian Homelands and local beekeeper Brenda Kaneshiro in a public education effort to step up monitoring of small hive beetle on Molokai.  The public meeting, targeting beekeepers on Molokai, will be held tonight, Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012 at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs Conference Room (across from Coconut Grove).  The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m.  Each participant will receive a small hive beetle trap and the latest non-biased research based information the UH has to offer on the small hive beetle.  Not only will you hear from UH researchers running the UH Honeybee Project Apiary and Lab, you’ll hear from a producer who’s experienced the beetle first hand. 

The small hive beetle is one of the few inspects that t can breach the defenses of a honeybee hive. In its native South Africa, where it evolved with a different race of honeybee, it’s considered a relatively harmless pest. In the U.S. however, the beetle has become a serious pest of honeybees especially in the southeastern states such as Florida and Louisiana. It was first detected in in Hawaii in 2010 on Hawaii Island, and quickly spread to Oahu, then Molokai (2011), and Maui.

The small hive beetle eats everything inside a bee colony: pollen, honey, bee brood (developing baby bees) and dead adult bees and discarded larvae. The feeding activity of the adult beetles also causes the honey to ferment. Fermented honey becomes more fluid and spills out of the cells of the honeycomb. High small hive beetle infestation levels can cause colony collapse. Because the feeding stages of beetle adult and larvae affect the colonies beekeepers need to learn to identify, monitor, and control this new pest.

Let’s all join forces and be a part of the solution to controlling the small hive beetle on Molokai.  For more information, please contact Jennifer Hawkins at 808-567-6935.  The University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (UH CTAHR) is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.


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